Bayo the Creator is the elder brother to Ayo the creator. Bayo taught Ayo all he knows from understanding different forms/genre of comedy, editing, filming, photography and media. And he is still learning.
When Bayo was asked about the challenges of creating GTA Naija, he pauses for a second before saying “If I should put it on a scale of 1-10, I’d say 20.”
Ayo The Creator GTA Naija
For many millennials, Grand Theft Auto, the American video game first released in 1997 and currently 15 editions in, was a big part of their childhood. When I first got a PlayStation Portable, it was one of the first games I got, nevermind that it was rated mature (for 17 and up) and I was 12 at the time.
Around the same time GTA launched, somewhere in Warri, two brothers Ayo and Bayo Peter, now popularly known as Ayo the Creator and Bayo the Creator, were surrounded by the kind of violence- because of the Warri crisis- you think is only possible in games like GTA.
Today, they are most popularly known for their work with GTA Naija, a parody of the numerous editions we have seen that has featured artists and important voices like Rema, Joeboy, and TG Omori in its first five episodes.
After a conversation with them, I will point out how they got here through road mapping, taking risks, and strategic thinking on their journey toward creating Africa’s biggest media production company.
Bayo The Creator
When we ask Bayo about the challenges of creating GTA Naija, he pauses for a second before saying “If I should put it on a scale of 1-10, I’d say 20.”
He talks about the high costs associated with the production, getting talent, locations, and props.
He also talks about getting talent to act as game characters. He goes into the fact that they shoot with continuous shots next.
This makes it particularly difficult to produce because a mistake after two minutes of perfect action means the whole scene has to be redone.
Initially planning to start off with parodies of movie trailers, Ayo and Bayo quickly found they were going to incur heavy bills and do work they felt did not show off their creativity in its fullest (shout out to the Ikorodu Bois).
Coupled with a desire for longevity with whatever material they put out, they soon found themselves contemplating creating video game parodies that had them telling their own stories.
In February 2020, after saving money for a few months, they set out to the city that never sleeps Lagos, with the intention of recording a parody video of Justin Bieber’s Yummy.
When they left Warri, the brothers thought they had done everything right but thankfully, the plans they had made were with a group of creators who failed to honor their commitments.
Those broken promises are probably the biggest blessing Ayo and Bayo have gotten in a year we will remember for more of the negatives.
After three days at a hotel in Lagos, the brothers connected with a friend they were looking to stay with until they at least had something tangible and it made sense to return to Warri.
Ayo the creator showed up at the friend’s house dressed in a pink hoodie bought as an outfit for the Yummy parody they had intended on shooting. It is that same hoodie he dons in episodes of GTA Naija.
Inspired to create on the day they arrived at the earlier stated friend’s, Bayo the Creator convinced a group of people they were meeting for the first time that day to feature in what became the first episode of GTA Naija.
He recalls that none of the people in question were content creators or actors and so there needed to be a lot of patience involved in getting them to get to act like game characters as they recorded on the field of the friend’s estate.